Tangle | African & Caribbean Theatre

International Theatre for Local People
Tangle is South West England’s African Caribbean Theatre Company. We celebrate the work of artists of African, Caribbean and more than 50 other heritages.

Tangle People

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Artistic Director – Anna Coombs

Anna has worked as a director at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, The New Vic, Stoke on Trent, The Oxford Playhouse and The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury as well as across London’s West End.  She founded Tangle whilst based  at Hall for Cornwall, Truro where her directing credits included HIGHFLIERS by Henry Darke,  BLOOD by Victoria Field, RESPONSES (new plays) NEVER SAY RABBIT IN A BOAT by Nick Darke, the first UK revival of his inaugural play and a tribute to her long time  friend and collaborator. In 2008 she directed Christopher Marlowe’s THE JEW OF MALTA with an international cast, which, along with Tangle’s opening production EVERYMAN, won The 2010 TMA Eclipse Award. For Hall for Cornwall she also helped the theatre win the TMA Renee Stepham Award and the TMA Award for Achievement in Touring.

Recent directing credits include BACKSLIDER by Shiona Morton (The Ustinov, Bath), and for Tangle, a collection of six new plays, A DROP TO DRINK  at Soho Theatre London in partnership with The National Theatre Studio, VANHU VESE (performed in English, Shona, siSwati and Kinyarwanda) co-produced with The Africa Centre and Rich Mix, and Esther O’Toole’s THE CROSSING co-produced with Nottingham Playhouse and Theatre 503.

In 2010 she was Director on Attachment at The National Theatre Studio and Resident Director at NITRO (Black Music Theatre), returning to The NT in 2011 to direct Koa Oduor Anthony’s play MAKMENDE VIES FOR PRESIDENT in English, Swahili and Sheng for The National Theatre African Playwriting Project. Anna is also a freelance creative consultant and race equality strategist. She is Research Associate (African Theatre) at SOAS, London University and a panellist for Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)’s Guest Projects Africa.


Executive Director – Deborah Baddoo MBE

A performer and choreographer in her own right, in the fields of jazz and African contemporary dance, Deborah set up Pyramid Dance Studio in London in 1985, which was instrumental in providing a launch pad for many artists and companies. In 1986 she co-founded State of Emergency, a performance and production company committed to the creation of high quality work, and creativity and innovation in the fields of dance and music. As Artistic Director of State of Emergency she established a national and international reputation for the company.

Throughout her varied career she has pursued a passionate, long-term vision to support the development of Black dance, choreography and performing arts nationally and internationally. In 2010 she was awarded an MBE for services to British dance.


Communications Director – Debo Adebayo

Debo Adebayo is a marketing consultant and producer in the theatre industry. Currently, he is the Communications Director at Tangle and the Developing Artist Producer at Tamasha Theatre Company. Via his company Mix ’n’ Sync, he also regularly undertakes contracts for artists and companies such as Talawa, Nitrobeat, Utopia Theatre and writer, performer and director Mojisola Adebayo amongst others. When he’s not producing and planning digital strategy and communications, Debo works in the music industry as a publisher, producer, music supervisor, and DJ. Theatre credits include I Stand Corrected (music supervisor, Oval House/London, 2012, Artscape/Cape Town, 2012)Muhammad Ali and Me (producer and music supervisor, Oval House/London 2008, Albany/London, 2016),  Moj of the Antarctic (Assistant Composer, Oval House/London 2008, British Council Tour of Afrcia, 2008, Lyric Hammersmith/London, 2007), Invisible (Random Acts, Channel 4, 2012).


Consultant (Finance)  – Thomas Kell

Thomas Kell is a consultant and arts producer with a particular interest in African theatre. Between 2007 and 2015 he was the Administrative Director of Tiata Fahodzi, working successively with Artistic Directors Femi Elufowoju, jr, Lucian Msamati and Natalie Ibu. He was a Senior Programme Manager for the British Council delivering the worldwide Shakespeare Lives initiative. Other commitments include directorships at Pursued by a Bear Theatre Company and the Elufowoju Jr Ensemble and advisory roles at The Art Machine and Faith Drama.


Website images by David J Bevan (www.djbevanphotography.co.uk) and THE CROSSING images by Robert Darch (www.robertdarch.com)